Declaration of Communities Affected by the IDB Group

Network of people affected by Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) investments request direct reparation for damages caused by these investments and attention to the deepening of the impacts caused by the COVID19 crisis.

Call for resistance in São José dos Campos, Brazil — Vitor Cosme credit

As communities affected by the investments made by the IDB Group in our territories, we ask the IDB Group’s Board of Executive Directors to welcome us in a virtual public dialogue in which we can directly express both the damage they have caused us with their investments and the requests we would like to make. The dialogue is proposed for September 8, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. EST.

We declare that there are communities throughout our Latin America and Caribbean seriously affected by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the IDB-Invest. Projects financed by the IDB Group have contributed for a long time so that the diverse communities in our region are subject to enormous socio-environmental damage that is currently exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Given that these projects deteriorate the living and subsistence conditions of thousands of people, the IDB Group deepens exactly the situation it claims to be fighting against. That is, the IDB Group becomes an agent that generates impoverishment and precarious living and working conditions, which contradicts the Group’s mandate. So the desired development is far from the reality we find ourselves in within our countries, which is poverty and underdevelopment. It is not possible to ignore the frequency with which this logic occurs contrary to the very policies of this institution.

In view of this situation, we need projects financed directly by the IDB Group to address the priorities of our communities, contributing to the recovering our conditions of decent living and work, while also respecting our culture. We know that your interest is merely economic and that the accumulation of capital, which you call development, is not for us. That is why we are here to demand that you stop further impoverishing us and, in cases where you have already done so, immediately repair the damage caused. No one forced you to finance death projects, which is what we call them. But, we were forced to live a life that we did not want — and this has been done with your money, therefore you are responsible for all these damages to our lives.

As your regular complaint mechanisms are not sufficient and do not generate real solutions for the populations, the situation presented requires a new channel for direct dialogue. It is imperative to dialogue directly with us — those affected — so that we build means that finance the recovery of the damage that was caused, as well as the necessary and effective means to prevent this from happening again.

The projects you funded have promised to improve our quality of life, and clearly failed. But it has not only been the precariousness but the violence generated by these projects. The persecution of those who oppose or denounce their abuses. The destruction of ecosystems that today, more than ever, the planet needs to conserve. In no case are the communities and ecosystems of the affected areas better than before. That is why we affirm that this is the real policy of the Bank. Not that of paper, but that of reality, that for which you — the Board of Executive Directors— as one of your main administrative bodies are responsible.

With these vulnerabilities generated by your investments, we have had no way to deal with Covid-19. We are more exposed than the communities not affected by your projects. Not only have we been displaced from remote places and in rural areas towards crowded cities, but there is no health care in most of the affected territories. Everything increased its cost and we do not have income, we do not have the means to pay the costs of health services and forms of social isolation that we did before your investments.

This declaration is signed by:

  • Asociación Asopesca Tocopilla
  • Coordinadora Ciudadana No Alto Maipo (Chile)
  • Movimento de Favelas de São José dos Campos
  • Movimiento Rios Vivos Colombia

Other communities and groups affected by the IDB Group are invited to connect with our organizations through email: comunidadesimpactadasbid@gmail.com